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Old 09-12-2014, 04:57 PM   #1
markersniffen
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Rochester, NY
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Default .ani questions regarding seamless looping

Hello all,

My goal is to create an animation inside of after effects that I can seamlessly loop on the Director to use as a background. My process:

1. Exported the animation from After Effects as 32bit targa image sequence.
2. Generate the .ani file from inside of composer.
3. Place .ani file in a template.
4. 'Disable out point' on the ani track
5. in the Object properties, check 'Loop' and uncheck 'Auto-Stop at Out Point'

The animation loops, however there is a noticeable jump at the first frame of the loop. It almost seems like the first frame is being skipped. This is noticeable in both try-out mode and live from the actual director.

The project format is 1080 59.94, interlaced, and the framerate is 29.97.

I have exported various versions of the tga sequence from After Effects, including versions with duplicated frames (so that once the ani is generated, field 1 and 2 are of the same frame), versions that start at frame _0001 not _0000, etc.

Perhaps I am just assuming wrongly that the director is capable of looping seamlessly, or perhaps I am doing something wrong when setting up the template.

One other random question/issue that I've had with regard to the ani files:
The first time I attempted to generate one, it gave me a message saying that the resolution had to be in multiples of 16. The animation's resolution was 1920x1080 (NOT divisible by 16), so I hit cancel and generated a new animation from after effects that was 1920x1088 (which IS divisible by 16). I tried to generate the ani file and it seemed to work fine. I was able to play it and see it in try-out mode. However, once I packed it and brought it into the director, the animation would show up as black. The only way I can get ani's to work in the director is to create my animations in a resolution that is NOT divisible by 16, and have composer conform it. This doesn't make sense, but it works. This seems like a bug....but I'm not sure.

I am working off of composer version 1.7.3. I have attached one of my test animations (.ani) that clearly shows the jump at the loop point.

Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated!
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File Type: zip ani.zip (1.14 MB, 8 views)
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Old 09-15-2014, 08:51 AM   #2
GrassValley_RV
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Default

Hi,

Thanks for your elaborate description.

Your process to generate an ani is correct.

Director should be able to loop seamlessly. So maybe we have a defect here.

Can you provide us the source targa sequence (without duplicated frames) so that we can try to reproduce the issue with identical source material?

Thanks,
Roy

P.S. Composer's warning message concerning the requirement to have 16 multiples for width and height should not show up for the full 1920x1080 dimensions (which are an exception). This is a something we'll fix on our side.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:17 PM   #3
markersniffen
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Hi Roy,

Thank you for your quick response -- I have uploaded a 40 frame RGBA TGA sequence to my google drive account:

https://drive.google.com/?authuser=0...E8tVE1yZHpvMHM

This sequence loops seamlessly in a 29.97 after effects composition, but skips in composer/director. When I generate the .ani file from this sequence, the animation plays twice as fast inside of composer and on the director, I assume because it is taking every two frames and turning each into a single field.

Thanks!

-mark
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:04 PM   #4
GrassValley_RV
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Thanks!

I've downloaded your sequence and will look into your issue this week. I'll report back to you when I know more.

Regards,
Roy
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:09 PM   #5
GrassValley_RV
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Hi Mark,

Double speed playback issue:
Make sure the broadcast format of the Composer project where you generate your ani in matches the GVD broadcast format at ani playback time.
E.g. if GVD is running 720p then make sure you generate your ani in a 720p project.

There indeed seems to be an issue with the ani generator in that it fails to encode the last two frames of your animation. We will try to resolve this in an upcoming version. In the meanwhile a workaround is to repeat the last frames 2 times. I managed to get the loop seamless in ntsc by repeating the last 2 fields 2 times. So, frame 38, frame 39, frame 40 (copy of 38), frame 41 (copy of 39), frame 42 (copy of 38), frame 43 (copy of 39). Likely this trick also works for 720p (didn't test this myself though).

Please let me know if this works for you.

Regards,
Roy
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:11 PM   #6
markersniffen
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Hey Roy,

Repeating the last frame once worked for me...if I doubled the last frame it would pause for a frame and then continue looping.

I've attached screenshots of my composer preferences and project settings. The only place it seems I can change format/framerate is in the preferences. And the only two applicable options are 1080i 59.94 and 720p 59.94. I have been set to 1080i 59.94 the entire time. The ani generator shows that playback speed is 29.97. And the project settings framerate shows the same.

Ani files still play back at double speed (even in tryout mode), they play normal if I generate my TGA sequences from a 59.94 composition in After Effects (that spits out ~60 full frames per second).

Is there a setting I am missing to adjust how the ani files are generated?

Thanks for the help on this, my main concern was the looping, and having a workaround is huge since our first broadcast is next week.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg GV_aniGenerator.JPG (20.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg GV_Pref.JPG (36.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg GV_ProjectSettings.JPG (28.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:00 AM   #7
GrassValley_RV
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Hi Mark,

The 59.94 in 1080i59.94 and 720i59.94 refers to fields-per-second and the ani generator expects a tga per field. So you indeed need to generate your tga's at 59.94Hz (~60Hz) in After Effects.

The project settings frame rate indicator shows frames-per-second.

FYI, in case you don't know: in interlaced mode a full frame is comprised of 2 fields where each fields contains half of the vertical lines. See also: http://www.3drender.com/glossary/fields.htm

Regards,
Roy
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